Located to the southeast of India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are an archipelago made up of over 500 islands. More than 10% of India’s flora and fauna are found on this little island, which makes up only 0.25 percent of India’s total land area. Many different kinds of creatures, ranging in size from tiny shrews to the world’s largest animal, the blue whale, make their home on and around these islands. Some of the most well-known members of the animal kingdom found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are listed here.
Wildlife enthusiasts will find paradise in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Andaman is rich in a wide variety of things, from native animals to several different species of turtles. You will be astounded by the diversity of life on these islands, from stunning marine life to dazzling terrestrial plants and animals. Don’t let your next trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands pass you by without seeing some of the top national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the region.
The main tropical rainforests encompass 86 percent of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. At least 1,300 plant species native to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are not found anywhere else in India.
On the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, you can visit one hundred marine and animal sanctuaries, each of which offers unique opportunities to learn about and appreciate the region’s extraordinary biodiversity. The biggest wildlife sanctuary in the Andamans is located on Interview Island, which is around three hours away from Mayabunder. Visiting the Landfall Island Wildlife Sanctuary is a fantastic way to see native animals in their native settings, and the island is also a popular destination for those interested in water activities. Some of the largest butterflies in the world can be found on the Andaman Islands, and Mount Harriet National Park is home to some of the world’s most diverse butterfly species.
At least 240 different species of birds can be seen in the Andamans, making it a prime location for birdwatchers. The Andaman scop’s owl, blue-eared kingfisher, and fulvous-breasted woodpecker are all common sights, as is the Narcondam hornbill, endemic to the Narcondam islands, the Andaman wood pigeon, and the fulvous-breasted tern. The Andaman Islands are a haven for wildlife, including at least two types of wild boars, feral elephants, four kinds of sea turtles, and wild saltwater crocodiles.
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1. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
This marine national park is situated at Wandoor, some 30 kilometers from Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The park was established in 1983 and spans a total area of 281.50 square kilometers, 220 of which are within the country’s territorial seas and hence are considered part of the park. These islands are characterized by their sandy shores, creeks, mangroves, and tropical woods. Aside from corals, other marine life you could see includes various shellfish, fish, starfish, turtles, and even saltwater crocodiles. There are many different kinds of birds that make their home in the marine national park. These include the White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Teal, Reef Heron, Terns, and many others. Tourists who wish to visit Jolly Buoy and Redskin Islands can do so via boats run by licensed tour companies from the marine park.
In addition to the white-bellied sea eagle, parakeets, Andaman teal, heron, terns, waders, and swifts can all be found in this park. Over 271 distinct bird species make their home in the park’s stunning surroundings at Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.
Large stretches of beautiful marine seas, lush islands covered in vegetation, gorgeous coral reefs, and brilliant sandy beaches and mangroves are all part of the park’s territory.
Mammals – Andaman Wild Pig, Spotted Deer, Civet, Fruit Bat etc.
Birds – White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Parakeets, Andaman Teal, Heron, Terns, Waders, Swifts, Whistling teal, Andaman Serpeant Eagle, King Fishers, Reef Herons, Doves, Roseate Tern, Black-naped tern, Sooty Tern, King Fishers, Small brown duck etc.
Fishes – Butterfly fishes, Sergeon fishes, Angel fishes, Parrot fishes, Bat fishes, White tip shark, Hammer headed shark, Start fishes etc.
Reptiles – Green Sea, Leather back, Hawaks Bill, Olive Ridlay, Water Monitor Lizard, Banded Sea Snake, Karit, Cobra, King Cobra, Vinake Snake, Pit vipers, Day gecko, Estuarine crocodiles etc.
Corals – Acropora, Pacillopora, Montipora, Leptoseris, Fungia, Forties, Tubipora, Gorgonians etc.
Other fauna – Sea Liyy, Feather Star, Giant Clam shell, Cowries, Trochus, Sea cucumber, Sponges, Sea anemons etc.
2. Mount Harriet National Park
The Andaman district of India’s Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is home to the stunning Mount Harriet National Park. This location is depicted on the back of the Indian currency note worth 20 Rupees. Took root in 1987. The park covers a total area of 46.62 km2.
A portion of the park, Mount Harriet (383 m), is the third-highest peak in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, behind North Andaman’s Saddle Peak (732 m) and Great Nicobar’s Mount Thullier (568 m).
There are 90 species of birds, including 11 endemics, 27 species of reptiles, and 12 endemic amphibian species in this national park. King cobras, Andaman cobras, green sea turtles, olive Ridleys, and other reptiles have all been spotted in or near the park. Over a hundred and twenty unique moth species call this area home.
Mammals – Animals like the Andaman wild pig, masked palm civet, flying fox, Asian elephant, chital, and others.
Birds – The Andaman Islands are home to a wide variety of avian species, such as the Andaman wood pigeon, Andaman cuckoo dove, Andaman scoops-owl, Andaman bookbook, Andaman woodpecker, Andaman drongo, Andaman treepie, Andaman coucal, White-headed starling, and many more.
There are a total of 16 different kinds of freshwater fish living in the streams of the Park’s surrounding area. These fish include eels, catfish, gobies, sleepers, and snakeheads. Also prevalent are the Andaman Bull Frog and the Andaman Paddy field Frog.
3. Rutland Island Wildlife Sanctuary
Rutland Island, which is located 20 kilometers south of Port Blair, is home to tropical evergreen forests and streams. According to the Andaman and Nicobar forest department, marine turtles use their beaches as hatching grounds. Notable Andaman species such as the Andaman Teal, Imperial pigeon, etc., make their home on this island as well.
4. Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the most well-known sanctuaries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. A turtle nesting area covering 5.80 kilometers of the beach’s total length of 8 kilometers and extending inland for 600 meters above mean high water is found in Cuthbert Bay. When new life emerges into the world, it is a joy to behold. & the Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary allows you to experience that wonderful joy by visiting the sanctuary during the nesting season. During the nesting season, more than a thousand nests can be found on the beaches of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, including Cuthbert Bay Beach. The four most common species of turtles found on beaches are the Olive Ridley, Green Sea, Leatherback, and Hawksbill turtles. Since the 2004 Tsunami, however, the population of leatherback turtles has increased, much to the delight of environmentalists everywhere.
Female turtles will typically make their way onto the beach from the water. The pit is dug into the sand a short distance inland from the beach and the mangroves, where the water is a little lower at high tide. Female turtles return to the ocean after laying an average of 110 eggs. At Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, you can participate in transporting eggs from the nest to the hatchery. The eggs take between 45 to 90 days to hatch, and once the hatchlings emerge, they immediately return to the ocean. When you visit the Cuthbert Bay Sanctuary on Andaman and Nicobar Island, you might also get to witness the hatchling. Besides turtles, there are spotted deers, kingfisher birds including pond herons and stork bill kingfishers, kingfisher ducks and smaller whistling ducks, and butterflies like the Andaman Mormon that you could see.
5. Saddle Peak National Park
Diglipur county on India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands is home to Saddle Peak National Park. This park was established in 1979, and it features a wide variety of attractive natural features, including a tropical forest, lush greeneries, mountain peaks, and a wealth of diverse plant and animal life. This is a great place to meet some interesting and cute animals and birds while experiencing nature in its purest form.
Because of its location, the national park has a mild to pleasant climate all year long, making it a great destination at any time of year. However, visiting the park in the winter, specifically between the months of October and March, is a fantastic idea.
Andaman wild pigs, water monitor lizards, and saltwater crocodiles are some of the most notable animals found in the park. The Andaman hill mynah and the imperial pigeon are two notable species that can be seen in this area.